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The leading journal in its field, Marine Ecology Progress Series covers all aspects of marine ecology, fundamental and applied.

Description

Topics covered include microbiology, botany, zoology, ecosystem research, biological oceanography, ecological aspects of fisheries and aquaculture, pollution, environmental protection, conservation, and resource management. Marine Ecology Progress Series aims for the highest quality of scientific contributions, quick publication, and a high technical standard of presentation.

latest article added on June 2014

ArticleFirst AuthorPublished
Non-native macroalga may increase concentrations of Vibrio bacteria on intertidal mudflatsGonzalez, DJ2014

Non-native macroalga may increase concentrations of Vibrio bacteria on intertidal mudflats

Keywords

Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Vibrio vulnificus, Gracilaria vermiculophylla, Oyster, Non-native, Mudflat, Water quality, Sediment

Abstract

We investigated whether the proliferation of a non-native macroalga, Gracilaria vermiculophylla, within the mid-Atlantic coast region, USA, could be related to concentrations of Vibrio bacteria in water, sediment, and oysters on intertidal mudflats where mats of the macroalga are found. Vibrio spp. are naturally found in a range of aquatic environments; in estuaries they are recognized as being biogeochemically and ecologically important. While most species are harmless, some pathogenic species (e.g. V. parahaemolyticus and V. vulnificus) can cause symptoms of disease in humans that range from gastrointestinal and wound infections to septicemia and death. Recent research efforts have focused on potential reservoirs and environmental conditions that can increase the incidence of human exposure to these species of bacteria. Our data indicated that V. parahaemolyticus, and V. vulnificus were commonly found on the macroalga in both summer and early fall. Summer and fall seasonal samplings indicated that mudflats with mats of G. vermiculophylla were associated with higher total Vibrio, V. parahaemolyticus, and V. vulnificus concentrations of proximal water, sediment, and oysters when compared with mudflats without macroalgal coverage. In addition, of all isolates confirmed to be V. vulnificus, regardless of source, 68% were confirmed as a highly virulent genotype, which indicated the presence of pathogenic forms of Vibrio across a range of matrices within the estuarine environment.

Authors

Gonzalez, DJ, Gonzalez, RA, Froelich, BA, Oliver, JD, Noble, RT and McGlathery, KJ

Year Published

2014

Publication

Marine Ecology Progress Series

Locations
DOI

10.3354/meps10771

This article contributed by:

Inter-Research Science Center

Dual processes for cross-boundary subsidies: incorporation of nutrients from reef-derived kelp into a seagrass ecosystemHyndes, GA2012

Dual processes for cross-boundary subsidies: incorporation of nutrients from reef-derived kelp into a seagrass ecosystem

Keywords

Food webs, Trophic subsidies, Posidonia, Ecklonia, Detritus, Spatial ecology

Abstract

Movement of organic material across ecosystem boundaries can be critical for subsidizing production in recipient systems, particularly in systems with low in situ productivity or resource availability. Yet, what happens in highly productive and resource-rich ecosystems? Kelp, which is dislodged in high quantities in temperate regions, can accumulate in seagrass ecosystems where productivity and resource availability are high. Using an experimental approach of adding isotopically-labelled (15N) kelp in laboratory and field experiments, we tested whether allochthonous kelp could be incorporated into seagrass ecosystems via (1) the uptake of leached nutrients by macrophytes and (2) the assimilation of nutrients by consumers. Seagrass and epiphytes assimilated kelp-15N under laboratory and field conditions, with epiphytes showing a greater rate of uptake than the seagrass leaves. Unlabelled kelp leached 1225 and 736 μg N (100 g kelp)−1 d−1 of dissolved organic nitrogen from freshly detached and 2 wk old kelp, respectively. Mesograzers (gastropods) assimilated kelp-15N under laboratory and field conditions, despite the presence of alternative food sources. We conclude that reef-derived kelp can act as an important vector of nutrient and energy transfer to both primary producers and consumers in marine landscapes, regardless of their levels of productivity and resource availability.

Authors

Hyndes, GA, Lavery, PS and Doropoulos, C

Year Published

2012

Publication

Marine Ecology Progress Series

Locations
DOI

10.3354/meps09367

This article contributed by:

Inter-Research Science Center

High CO2 reduces the settlement of a spawning coral on three common species of crustose coralline algaeDoropoulos, C2013

High CO2 reduces the settlement of a spawning coral on three common species of crustose coralline algae

Keywords

Climate change, Ocean acidification, Recruitment, Metamorphosis, Acropora, Crustose coralline algae

Abstract

Concern about the impacts of ocean acidification (OA) on ecosystem function has prompted many studies to focus on larval recruitment, demonstrating declines in settlement and early growth at elevated CO2 concentrations. Since larval settlement is often driven by particular cues governed by crustose coralline algae (CCA), it is important to determine whether OA reduces larval recruitment with specific CCA and the generality of any effects. We tested the effect of elevated CO2 on the survival and settlement of larvae from the common spawning coral Acropora selago with 3 ecologically important species of CCA, Porolithon onkodes, Sporolithon sp., and Titanoderma sp. After 3 d in no-choice laboratory assays at 447, 705, and 1214 μatm pCO2, the rates of coral settlement declined as pCO2 increased with all CCA taxa. The magnitude of the effect was highest with Titanoderma sp., decreasing by 87% from the ambient to highest CO2 treatment. In general, there were high rates of larval mortality, which were greater with the P. onkodes and Sporolithon sp. treatments (~80%) compared to the Titanoderma sp. treatment (65%). There was an increase in larval mortality as pCO2 increased, but this was variable among the CCA species. It appears that OA reduces coral settlement by rapidly altering the chemical cues associated with the CCA thalli and microbial community, and potentially by directly affecting larval viability.

Authors

Doropoulos, C and Diaz-Pulido, G

Year Published

2013

Publication

Marine Ecology Progress Series

Locations
DOI

10.3354/meps10096

This article contributed by:

Inter-Research Science Center

Offspring sensitivity to ocean acidification changes seasonally in a coastal marine fishMurray, Christopher S.2014

Offspring sensitivity to ocean acidification changes seasonally in a coastal marine fish

Keywords

Adaptation, Flax Pond, Growth, Larvae, Menidia menidia, Ocean acidification, Survival, Temperate tidal salt marsh, Transgenerational plasticity

Abstract

Experimental assessments of species vulnerabilities to ocean acidification are rapidly increasing in number, yet the potential for short- and long-term adaptation to high CO2 by contemporary marine organisms remains poorly understood. We used a novel experimental approach that combined bi-weekly sampling of a wild, spawning fish population (Atlantic silverside Menidia menidia) with standardized offspring CO2 exposure experiments and parallel pH monitoring of a coastal ecosystem. We assessed whether offspring produced at different times of the spawning season (April to July) would be similarly susceptible to elevated (~1100 µatm, pHNIST = 7.77) and high CO2 levels (~2300 µatm, pHNIST = 7.47). Early in the season (April), high CO2 levels significantly (p < 0.05) reduced fish survival by 54% (2012) and 33% (2013) and reduced 1 to 10 d post-hatch growth by 17% relative to ambient conditions. However, offspring from parents collected later in the season became increasingly CO2-tolerant until, by mid-May, offspring survival was equally high at all CO2 levels. This interannually consistent plasticity coincided with the rapid annual pH decline in the species’ spawning habitat (mean pH: 1 April/31 May = 8.05/7.67). It suggests that parents can condition their offspring to seasonally acidifying environments, either via changes in maternal provisioning and/or epigenetic transgenerational plasticity (TGP). TGP to increasing CO2 has been shown in the laboratory but never before in a wild population. Our novel findings of direct CO2-related survival reductions in wild fish offspring and seasonally plastic responses imply that realistic assessments of species CO2-sensitivities must control for parental environments that are seasonally variable in coastal habitats.

Authors

Murray, Christopher S., Malvezzi, Alex, Gobler, Christopher J. and Baumann, Hannes

Year Published

2014

Publication

Marine Ecology Progress Series

Locations
DOI

10.3354/meps10791

This article contributed by:

Inter-Research Science Center

Benthic nutrient fluxes and limited denitrification in a sub-tropical groundwater-influenced coastal lagoonBernard, Rebecca J.2014

Benthic nutrient fluxes and limited denitrification in a sub-tropical groundwater-influenced coastal lagoon

Keywords

Nitrogen cycle, Denitrification, Benthic flux, Sediment, Hydrogen sulfide, Submarine groundwater discharge

Abstract

Benthic processes in estuarine systems can alleviate nutrient over-enrichment by removing nitrogen (N) via denitrification, or further intensify eutrophication by supplying N back to the water column. The main objectives of this study were to (1) examine the magnitude and seasonality of benthic fluxes and denitrification, and (2) determine the relative importance of benthic versus submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) N fluxes in Little Lagoon, a shallow, sub-tropical, groundwater-influenced coastal lagoon in the North Central Gulf of Mexico. In the summer, when low water column nitrate (NO3-) concentration (3000 µM), rates of net N2 fixation (61.7 ± 4.5 SE µmol N m-2 h-1) exceeded rates of net N2 efflux (51.6 ± 4.9 SE µmol N m-2 h-1). Unlike many estuarine systems where denitrification is coupled to nitrification, sulfidic sediments caused denitrification to primarily be supported by water column NO3- in Little Lagoon. Gene copy numbers indicated that markers for N2 fixation, sulfate reduction, and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium were more abundant than markers for denitrification and nitrification. SGD N fluxes were up to 42 times larger than the benthic rates, and both the benthos and SGD provided dissolved organic nitrogen to the water column. This study presents evidence of limited benthic N fluxes in supplying N to the water column compared to input associated with SGD.

Authors

Bernard, Rebecca J., Mortazavi, Behzad, Wang, Lei, Ortmann, Alice C., MacIntyre, Hugh and Burnett, William C.

Year Published

2014

Publication

Marine Ecology Progress Series

Locations
DOI

10.3354/meps10783

This article contributed by:

Inter-Research Science Center

Reconstructing δ13C isoscapes of phytoplankton production in a coastal upwelling system with amino acid isotope values of littoral musselsVokhshoori, Natasha L.2014

Reconstructing δ13C isoscapes of phytoplankton production in a coastal upwelling system with amino acid isotope values of littoral mussels

Keywords

Mytilus californianus, Carbon isotopes, Compound-specific isotope analysis, California, Isoscape

Abstract

Compound-specific isotope analysis of amino acids (CSI-AA) is increasingly used to decouple trophic isotopic effects from isotopic composition at the base of food webs. The δ13C values of essential amino acids (EAAs) are particularly useful as recorders of primary production, because animals cannot synthesize EAAs de novo, so diagnostic biosynthetic δ13CEAA patterns remain unchanged up food chains. To test the potential for δ13CAA values to identify C source and resource flow in complex littoral ecosystems, we measured bulk and δ13CAA values of Mytilus californianus adductor muscle tissue in samples spanning >1700 km of coastline from San Diego, California, to southern Oregon, USA. The average bulk δ13C value for the entire region clustered around a relatively constant value (-15.7 ± 0.9‰), with no latitudinal trend (R2 = 0.022). δ13CAA patterns were highly consistent in all mussels, and δ13CEAA patterns closely matched expectations for marine phytoplankton, supporting the hypothesis that consumer EAA isotope values are unchanged from primary production. While bulk δ13C values were ambiguous in terms of source, application of a multivariate δ13CEAA ‘fingerprinting’ approach clearly indicated microalgae as the major source for all mussel EAAs. We hypothesize that integrated δ13C values of coastal phytoplankton production can therefore be directly derived from δ13CEAA of filter feeders in coastal regions. A correction derived from literature data for phytoplankton δ13CEAA values yielded reasonable δ13C values for coastal production, supporting this idea. Together, our results suggest δ13CEAA as a new approach for constructing baseline δ13C isoscapes and may have important implications for ecosystem studies in both modern and paleo-environments.

Authors

Vokhshoori, Natasha L., Larsen, Thomas and McCarthy, Matthew D.

Year Published

2014

Publication

Marine Ecology Progress Series

Locations
DOI

10.3354/meps10746

This article contributed by:

Inter-Research Science Center

Absorption-based algorithm of primary production for total and size-fractionated phytoplankton in coastal watersBarnes, Morvan K.2014

Absorption-based algorithm of primary production for total and size-fractionated phytoplankton in coastal waters

Keywords

Absorption, Micro-phytoplankton, Nano-phytoplankton, North Sea, Primary production, Western English Channel

Abstract

Most satellite models of production have been designed and calibrated for use in the open ocean. Coastal waters are optically more complex, and the use of chlorophyll a (chl a) as a first-order predictor of primary production may lead to substantial errors due to significant quantities of coloured dissolved organic matter (CDOM) and total suspended material (TSM) within the first optical depth. We demonstrate the use of phytoplankton absorption as a proxy to estimate primary production in the coastal waters of the North Sea and Western English Channel for both total, micro- and nano+pico-phytoplankton production. The method is implemented to extrapolate the absorption coefficient of phytoplankton and production at the sea surface to depth to give integrated fields of total and micro- and nano+pico-phytoplankton primary production using the peak in absorption coefficient at red wavelengths. The model is accurate to 8% in the Western English Channel and 22% in this region and the North Sea. By comparison, the accuracy of similar chl a based production models was >250%. The applicability of the method to autonomous optical sensors and remotely sensed aircraft data in both coastal and estuarine environments is discussed.

Authors

Barnes, Morvan K., Tilstone, Gavin H., Smyth, Timothy J., Suggett, David J., Astoreca, Rosa, Lancelot, Christiane and Kromkamp, Jacco C.

Year Published

2014

Publication

Marine Ecology Progress Series

Locations
DOI

10.3354/meps10751

This article contributed by:

Inter-Research Science Center

Oxygen budgets in subtidal arctic (Kongsfjorden, Svalbard) and temperate (Helgoland, North Sea) microphytobenthic communitiesSevilgen, D. S.2014

Oxygen budgets in subtidal arctic (Kongsfjorden, Svalbard) and temperate (Helgoland, North Sea) microphytobenthic communities

Keywords

Benthic primary production, Sandy sediments, Microsensors, Planar optodes, Photosynthesis, Respiration, P-I curve, Bioirrigation

Abstract

We compared primary production and respiration of temperate (Helgoland, North Sea) and subtidal Arctic (Kongsfjorden, Svalbard) microphytobenthic communities during summer. The diatom communities were generally characterized as cosmopolitan, displayed no site specificity, and had similar chl a and fucoxanthin concentrations. Their net and gross photosynthesis rates and light adaptation intensities, derived from laboratory microsensor measurements, were also similar, despite differences in water temperature. Daily oxygen fluxes across the sediment-water interface were estimated by combining laboratory microprofile and planar optode measurements with in situ data on oxygen penetration and light dynamics. During the study period, the Svalbard sediments were on average net heterotrophic, while the Helgoland sediments were net autotrophic (-22.4 vs. 9.2 mmol O2 m-2 d-1). This was due to high infaunal abundance in the Svalbard sediments that caused high oxygen uptake rates in the sediments and consumption below the sediment euphotic zone. Additionally, bioirrigation of the sediment due to infaunal burrow ventilation was reduced by light; thus, the sedimentary oxygen inventory was reduced with increasing light. Conversely, light-enhanced the oxygen inventory in the Helgoland sediments. Oxygen dynamics in the Svalbard sediments were therefore dominated by bioirrigation, whereas in the Helgoland sediments they were dominated by photosynthetic oxygen production.

Authors

Sevilgen, D. S., de Beer, D., Al-Handal, A. Y., Brey, T. and Polerecky, L.

Year Published

2014

Publication

Marine Ecology Progress Series

Locations
DOI

10.3354/meps10672

This article contributed by:

Inter-Research Science Center

Differential impacts of coral reef herbivores on algal succession in KenyaHumphries, A. T.2014

Differential impacts of coral reef herbivores on algal succession in Kenya

Keywords

Animal-plant interactions, Community-based management, Marine protected area and reserves, Niche replacement, Phase shift, Primary succession, Resilience

Abstract

In shallow-water systems, fisheries management influences herbivory, which mediates ecosystem processes by regulating algal biomass, primary production, and competition between benthic organisms, such as algae and corals. Sea urchins and herbivorous fishes (scrapers, grazers, browsers) are the dominant herbivores in Kenya’s fringing coral reef and their grazing influences coral-macroalgal dynamics and dominance. Using experimental substrata and grazer exclusions, we tested the hypothesis that herbivores differentially affect algal composition and succession using 3 levels of fisheries management: fished reefs, community-managed closures (<0.5 km2), and government-managed closures (20 to 40 yr old, 5 to 10 km2). In fished reefs and government closures, herbivores facilitated maintenance of early successional algal species, such as turfs, associated with sea urchins in the former and scraping fishes in the latter. Crustose coralline algae were only abundant in government closures, and video recordings showed that fish grazing was greatest at these sites, most notably for parrotfishes (scrapers). A combination of sea urchins and small grazing and detritivorous fishes was present in community closures, which allowed macroalgae to quickly develop from turf into early then late successional stages. These reefs may represent an intermediate or transitional system of herbivore dominance characterized by macroalgae. Consequently, reefs in heavily fished seascapes initially protected from fishing may require additional management efforts to facilitate the recovery of larger-bodied scraping fishes, including bans on capturing parrotfishes and restricting gear (e.g. spearguns) that target these species.

Authors

Humphries, A. T., McClanahan, T. R. and McQuaid, C. D.

Year Published

2014

Publication

Marine Ecology Progress Series

Locations
DOI

10.3354/meps10744

This article contributed by:

Inter-Research Science Center

Localised mixing and heterogeneity in the plankton food web in a frontal region of the Sargasso Sea: implications for eel early life history?Richardson, Katherine2014

Localised mixing and heterogeneity in the plankton food web in a frontal region of the Sargasso Sea: implications for eel early life history?

Keywords

Plankton, Eel larvae, Sargasso Sea, Mixing, Primary production

Abstract

Previous studies have demonstrated that patches of eel larvae are found in the frontal region of the Subtropical Convergence Zone (STCZ), but to date no clear evidence of why this region might confer advantage to the larvae has been presented. This study demonstrates that there may be localized patches within a frontal region in the STCZ in the Sargasso Sea that experience elevated vertical mixing and an associated vertical flux of nutrients. This localized vertical mixing was suggested by a group of stations within the frontal region that exhibited a greater similarity (Jaccard index) between the diatom communities at 10 m and >100 m (in the deep chlorophyll maximum, DCM) than in other parts of the frontal region. Thorpe displacements supported the hypothesis of elevated mixing intensities around these stations, as did vertical mixing rates inferred from stratification and vertical current shear calculated from acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) measurements. Combining these mixing estimates with vertical nutrient gradients suggests that nutrient fluxes to the euphotic zone at these mixing sites may be an order of magnitude greater than elsewhere in the frontal region. This mixing may influence the plankton food web, as indicated by elevated values/concentrations of (1) primary production, (2) variable fluorescence (Fv/Fm) and (3) total seston. In addition, the fraction of the total biomass of both copepods and nauplii found closest to the DCM in the frontal region correlated with the stratification (Brunt-Väisälä frequency), with the greatest fractions found below 75 m at the most weakly stratified stations. While this study cannot directly link these observations to eel larvae ecology, Munk et al. (2010; Proc R Soc B 277:3593–3599) reported that eel larvae were most abundant at locations where we found evidence for elevated vertical mixing.

Authors

Richardson, Katherine, Bendtsen, Jørgen, Tang Christensen, Jens, Adjou, Mohamed, Moltke Lyngsgaard, Maren, Hilligsøe, Karen Marie, Pedersen, Jens B., Vang, Torben and Holtegaard Nielsen, Morten

Year Published

2014

Publication

Marine Ecology Progress Series

Locations
DOI

10.3354/meps10766

This article contributed by:

Inter-Research Science Center

Recent Articles

Non-native Macroalga May Increase Concentrations of Vibrio Bacteria on Intertidal Mudflats

by Gonzalez, DJ, Gonzalez, RA, Froelich, BA, Oliver, JD, Noble, RT and McGlathery, KJ

We investigated whether the proliferation of a non-native macroalga, Gracilaria vermiculophylla, within the mid-Atlantic coast region, USA, could be related to concentrations of Vibrio bacteria in water, sediment, and oysters on intertidal mudflats where mats of the macroalga are found. Vibrio spp. are naturally found in a range of aquatic environments; in estuaries they are recognized as being...

published 2014 in Marine Ecology Progress Series

Offspring Sensitivity to Ocean Acidification Changes Seasonally in a Coastal Marine Fish

by Murray, Christopher S., Malvezzi, Alex, Gobler, Christopher J. and Baumann, Hannes

Experimental assessments of species vulnerabilities to ocean acidification are rapidly increasing in number, yet the potential for short- and long-term adaptation to high CO2 by contemporary marine organisms remains poorly understood. We used a novel experimental approach that combined bi-weekly sampling of a wild, spawning fish population (Atlantic silverside Menidia menidia) with standardized...

published 2014 in Marine Ecology Progress Series


Benthic Nutrient Fluxes and Limited Denitrification in a Sub-Tropical Groundwater-Influenced Coastal Lagoon

by Bernard, Rebecca J., Mortazavi, Behzad, Wang, Lei, Ortmann, Alice C., MacIntyre, Hugh and Burnett, William C.

Benthic processes in estuarine systems can alleviate nutrient over-enrichment by removing nitrogen (N) via denitrification, or further intensify eutrophication by supplying N back to the water column. The main objectives of this study were to (1) examine the magnitude and seasonality of benthic fluxes and denitrification, and (2) determine the relative importance of benthic versus submarine gro...

published 2014 in Marine Ecology Progress Series

Reconstructing δ13c Isoscapes of Phytoplankton Production in a Coastal Upwelling System with Amino Acid Isotope Values of Littoral Mussels

by Vokhshoori, Natasha L., Larsen, Thomas and McCarthy, Matthew D.

Compound-specific isotope analysis of amino acids (CSI-AA) is increasingly used to decouple trophic isotopic effects from isotopic composition at the base of food webs. The δ13C values of essential amino acids (EAAs) are particularly useful as recorders of primary production, because animals cannot synthesize EAAs de novo, so diagnostic biosynthetic δ13CEAA patterns remain unchanged up food cha...

published 2014 in Marine Ecology Progress Series